Some important news to share regarding e911 and VoIP. While this is a step in the right direction, the FCC still needs to clarify its position on e911 and give the VoIP service providers time to be in compliance with the FCC e911 mandate. Nevertheless, Vonage is continuing to market to new customers in spite of the FCC order not to and I've yet to hear of the FCC cracking down on Vonage with any sort of fine. Looks like the FCC's bark is worse than its bite. Anyway, check out this bit of related news...
The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Board of Directors has formally approved the NENA Interim VoIP Architecture for Enhanced 9-1-1 Services (known in short as i2).This is NENA's first major standard on the VoIP and Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) system interface.The standard is an interim solution enabling VoIP telecommunications service providers to deliver full E9-1-1 service through the current E9-1-1 infrastructure. It is the first of a two part major E9-1-1 system re-design effort surrounding IP that was started in 2003.As the last major E9-1-1 design effort was the original work done by AT&T in the 1970s, this is a significant announcement. The standard can be viewed and downloaded through the NENA web site at http://www.nena.org/9-1-TechStandards/nena_standards.htm.
The release of this standard is a migratory step toward the currently in-progress design of a more flexible and robust IP-based Next Generation E 9-1-1 service that will flexibly support all types of 9-1-1 calling devices."NENA's vision since the development of the 9-1-1 Future Path Plan in 2001 has been, and continues to be, to modernize E9-1-1.The Interim Solution standard is the first major step to support VoIP E9-1-1 and to redesign E9-1-1 for present and future needs," said Billy Ragsdale, Chair of the NENA Technical Committee.
NENA President David Jones, ENP, said, "I applaud the effort and untold hours of work by a volunteer committee that believes in the future needs of E9-1-1.Internet Protocol is the future of telecommunications and, as a result, must be the basis of the future of E9-1-1."Nearly all aspects of the 9-1-1 industry are represented in the more than 100 member NENA VoIP/Packet Technical Committee, including industry leading VoIP service providers and VoIP positioning center providers.
"The VoIP industry is dedicated to accelerating E9-1-1 solutions," said Jim Kohlenberger, Executive Director of the Voice on the Net Coalition. "This is a critical next step in ensuring that VoIP emergency services can be deployed in a coordinated and standardized manner. The Interim Solution standard is an important announcement toward this end and we look forward to continued work with NENA in the progression towards an IP-enabled Next Generation 9-1-1 system," added Kohlenberger.
Evolving from NENA's E9-1-1 Future Path Plan started in 2001, NENA's Technical Committee has worked in parallel on both this transitional, interim design and the longer term NG9-1-1 approach (known in short as I3), which is targeted for public review in early 2006.NENA will be considering the degree and direction needed for formal standards development organization (SDO) approval on all or parts of both the Interim and NG9-1-1 solution standards in the coming months.